A vegan milk startup called NotCo based in Chile that has backing from Jeff Bezos is eyeing unicorn status in its next fundraising round. How’s that for an opener?
What’s this about?
Per a recent piece in Bloomberg, NotMilk, one of the company’s products, is a popular plant-based alternative to milk which the company asserts actually tastes like milk. It is sold in Amazon’s Whole Foods.
Of course, there is an AI angle to the story – they use it to analyze molecular structures and find new combos of plant-based ingredients. In addition to NotMilk, the product lineup includes NotMayo, NotIceCream, NotMilk and a NotBurger.
The company was founded in 2015 by Matias Muchnick, Karim Pichara and Pablo Zamora.
Its investors include Jeff Bezos’ Bezos Expeditions, Catterton Partners, Kaszek Ventures, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, and 3G investment arm The Craftory; they’ve raised $120 million since inception.
$35 billion alt-protein market
Fake burgers and milk are the stars of the show in protein-rich products made from plants. This space has been booming of late over worry about the environmental impacts of producing meat.
According to a VC in the know, global sales of these products are around $35 billion, with several unicorns:
- Impossible Foods: $6 billion
- Just Inc.: over $1 billion
- Oatly: plans IPO target value of $10 billion
The company is pinning its hopes of achieving a $1B+ valuation on its 2021 outlook which projects a increases of 4X in sales and 5X in volumes. Their last valuation was around $300 million, so it remains to be seen if they can make the jump.
“It has to be for a valuation of $1 billion,” CEO Muchnick said. “We won’t budge from there.”